Broiled Sports: Mike Sanders is a former professional wrestler (WWE, WCW & TNA), actor (including a recurring role on USA Network's extremely successful series Burn Notice), stand-up comedian and corporate host. He is a former WCW Cruiserweight Champion, former WCW Commissioner and definitely "above average." He was also nice enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions....



Now onto the interview:
 

 
 
Q: Were you a big wrestling fan growing up?
 
 
A: I was. I grew up on Georgia Championship Wrestling. 
 
 

Q: At what age did you decide wrestling was the career path you wanted to take?
 
 
A:  At age 28. I was headed to the Punchline comedy club to be a comedian and a year later I'm a Pro Wrestler. lol.

 
 
Q: I believe you got your start at the WCW Power Plant. There's a lot of rumors and/or horror stories about things that went on down there. How hard were they on the wrestlers? What did you think of the experience?
 
 
A: I did, as far as how hard it was the initial tryout was brutal. I think out of 40 wrestlers only three of us made it through the tryout and I was the only one that started at the school initially. I never really had any horror stories. A lot of shit gets blown out of proportion when it came to the PowerPlant. 

 
 
Q: Who were some of the trainers there?
 

A: I was trained by "Sarge" Buddy Lee Parker, "The Assassin" Jodi Hamilton, Pistol Pez Whatley and Mike Winter. Also a lot of the other guys would come through on a daily basis like Steve Regal, DDP, Dave Taylor and you would get in the ring with them and you would learn different aspects of the business from all of them.

 
Q: When you finally got the call up to WCW, what were your initial thoughts? Initial impressions?
 

A: Believe it or not, I was just kinda happy having a job in the biz considering I had gotten fired by Paul Orndorff two months earlier. I don't think people actually know that.
 
 
Q: What are your thoughts on the Natural Born Thrillers faction? What did you think about your WCW run as a whole? (The politics, etc.....)
 

A: I loved it. I was happy to be there,  I just didn't realize what I had I in my hand at the time. The Thrillers were a great bunch of guys. We don't talk now but back then they were a great bunch of guys.

 
 
Q: One thing I've never understood was how or why they do certain things in the WWE backstage. Can you get take us back to when you got there? Did they have a plan for you? Do they have any clue of what they're doing with most of the talent? (doesn't seem like it). Seemed to me like they might have been burying WCW guys from the get-go.
 

A: Well, I think it's like this; you buy a company, expand your roster, but don't really expand your TV people to go along with it. It's not going to be the original people that got you to the point where you could buy the other company.

 
 
Q: Is it true that the WWE ended up releasing you because you didn't introduce yourself to HHH??
 

A: That's actually a crazy story. I was in catering and had my eye on him while he was engaged in a conversation with Vince and some other people. I didn't want to interrupt, so I sat and waited. I took my eye off him for a minute and the next thing I know he's standing beside me on his crutches introducing himself. I didn't even know I had heat with him until 3 months later. I'm getting picked up at the airport with Raven and he's like, "bro you got heat with HHH." I'm like fuck really?! Same thing happen with (Chris) Jericho. I go to get up and he sits down behind me. I didn't even see him and next thing I know I have Raven again telling me I have heat for disrespecting Jericho! I apologized to him and he said to me that you have to say hello to everyone....it's a respect thing. Hey Asshole, I didn't see you!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 
Q: How did you leave it off with World Wrestling Entertainment?
 

A: I guess it was left off pretty rough. I never got called back, but then again I wasn't a pill abusing alcoholic that went to rehab more than once, if I had I might still have a career. Wellness Policy.

 
 
Q: What are your thoughts on your TNA run and the people there?
 

A: Well my thoughts then and now are a little different because I was friends with (Vince) Russo and we traveled together. Russo being friends with Jeff (Jarrett) I already knew my time there was limited but there are just some egos that no matter how good you are on the mic or in the ring, you're never going to overcome. Jeff Jarrett just didn't like me for one reason or another 
but it is what it is and I'm glad he's found God. He's probably a better person for it.
 



 
Q: What is behind the the infamous "Hey" catchphrase in TNA?? And is it true Jeff Jarrett told you to get rid of it?
 

A: Jeff basically told me I was getting over as a heel the wrong way and people weren't supposed to be cheering me. I'm like, really?? TNA has a heel section that cheered every heel!  See, here is my philosophy; a baby face is a likable character that overcomes controversy to get what he wants. A heel is still a likable character that creates controversy to get what he wants. Either way, Jeff Jarrett's in charge and I lose either way.
 

 
Q: Why did you end up leaving TNA? How come you were not in a major wrestling promotion after that? (We thought you should have been!)
 

A: I really didn't leave, I was just never booked again and I wasn't going to kiss Jeff's ass and beg for a job. You had nobody there that could talk or cut promos and still don't. 
 

 
Q: Do you have a favorite all-time match?
 

A: Yea. Myself and Joe Legend in Glascow, Scotland. He's a really good worker in my opinion and brought me to a different level.
 

 
Q: You were one of the greats on the mic, so natural and smooth. Do you have a favorite catchphrase? (SOL? Hey?)
 

A: "SOL" because of the story behind it is so funny. But I will save it for another interview.
 

 
Q: Just give us a little insight as to what you are up to now.....the stand-up stuff.....acting.....where you'll be...etc etc
 
 
A: Trying to finish answering all these questions! Ha, just kidding. I'm focused more on my acting and corporate hosting right now. I just finished working on The new Tyler Perry show 'The Haves and The Have Nots' and the Showtime Original series 'Homeland.' Not doing much stand-up but still love to be on that stage when I get a chance.

 


Thank you so much for your time and we'll definitely be looking for you on a TV screen very soon. Homeland is a HUGE, successful show and one of my favorites. Congratulations and I wish you nothing but the best in the future. Since the interview has concluded, I guess we're S.O.L......and you know what that means......